What a week! I am sorry I haven’t been around – clearly I don’t plan my content out enough to help when I run into a great week of productivity. We’ll have to work on this and engage some guest bloggers and additional content. For today though, there is a thought that has been running around my head all week and I want to share it with you quickly before we embark upon our weekends and the joy of being with loved ones, family, friends, or whatever we have planned. Today is Friday so here’s a faith-based post since I have Fridays set aside for reaching new levels within our faith and fitness.
Let’s take a moment out to list to this song.
Did you feel that? Each time I hear this song something just washes over me and I remember back when I first began this walk with God and living my life for more than myself. Thank God for doing so because who I was back then was a complete different person to the point that when I share about my growth and talk with groups of youth and women, I sometimes feel like I am referring to someone else because the change has been so drastic.
All week this thought has been running around my mind:
A good friend would never encourage you to remain in a pit. He would try to help you out of it. Offer a hand. Lower a rope to you. Something so you would move forward. True friends inspire us to do better by reminding us of the strengths they see in us and cheering us on with our dreams and hopes. They ask how you are doing and say something when it looks like life is becoming a race toward death. When you are just living to one day die, friends jump in and say, “let’s get out of this rut and try something new.” Why would we expect anything less of Jesus?
I am saddened when I see folks who have been around the church for a while but remain in their same states. It shows a lack of close relationship with Jesus that we should be able to achieve with surrender and following His commandments and the guidelines set out for us within the Bible. When someone is the same years after stepping into church, it shows a lack of relationship on the part of the people within the church as well, as we have failed to step up and help the person along.
“Come as you are.”
This is how He called to the angry and broken young girl who was pregnant, scared, and not supposed to make it past 18 years old without ending up dead or in jail.
This is what He whispered in my ear as I stood at the altar for the first time in my life and said, “I bring my brokeness and everything that I have and all that I ask is you help me clean up the mess I have made.”
And every day since He has done just that.
On my worst year since entering the church and coming to a point of wanting more than just a belief of some man in the sky who played with humans the way that we play with Legos and MatchBox cars, I have grown in some way because I know “I can’t stay here”. I want to really know this man who died for me and rose again so I could have eternal life. And I know some don’t believe, and I know some of you reading this will think I am a complete nut for believing in Christ, but I look at it as a step in the right direction from where I was when I walked into the church in October 1994. I am not missing out on anything and I gained life and hope and a love for myself I never knew until I really looked into those words on those pages I once thought were nothing more than a story handed down from generation to generation to make people feel good about themselves. The song above summarizes how I have felt especially these past few years as I have continually pressed deeper and deeper into this thing called love and life. And I want that for all who are around me, whether they believe or not. I want to see those around me physically and you who read my words to live each day ready for glory and moving forward and going to the next level in life where you experience those things you dream of. I want to see dry bones dance and stone hearts turn to flesh as we all come into our purpose and live out life present and accounted for. I can’t stay here anymore in this same place. I want to move forward. I want to dive deeper into life.
“Come as you are.”
I am not Christ, but I may be the only representation of Him that you encounter today. If so, I want you to know you are welcome here regardless of your beliefs. I believe it is between you and God what you believe in this world and that my part is to share my faith in a way that points to Him. From there, it’s on you and Him to know one another. But whatever you believe, whoever you trust in, I ask that you not stay as you are today.
Whether life is good, bad, horrendous, so sucky that you really don’t know if you want to move forward… WHATEVER STATE it is in, don’t remain there. Grow. Find a reason to become better. Make a change in yourself or the world around you. Light someone else’s fire. But don’t stay the same as you are today, even if you are the most phenomenal person I will ever meet.
For those who are in a tough place right now, I am going to end with this song from Mercy Me that has gotten me through some really dark days in my life. Whether things change tomorrow or in a year, stay in this life and be present for every moment so you can see how beautiful your story can turn out when you persevere. I believe in you and I can say that because I know without any doubt in my mind that if you will stick things out there will come a day that you will remember today and be thankful you made the choice to grow through pressure and fire instead of cave and give in to the dark voices that want you to give up. You are worth so much more than an ending like that. After listening to the song, if you still feel like you can’t go forward, please call the Suicide Help Line (1-800-273-8255) and ask for help getting through this season.